Sunday, June 19, 2016

And even more chain maille

I'm going to have to think of a better post title for here on out.  "Even more more chain maille" doesn't have a good ring to it.

The items I have to show you today are all tutorials from Brilliant Twisted Skulls on etsy.

First, I have the Raven's Braid.  The rings I had for the middle were the correct size according to the tutorial, but were slightly too thick.  I had to go one gauge smaller to make it work.  

I love how it turned out!  It just goes to show that, for some weaves, different vendors and different metal types make a difference.  

This is the only piece that I patinaed.  The others are waiting for me to get a few more pieces together.

Next up is the wyvern back weave.

I had done something similar, but I love the doubled persian rings on the edges.  This one used smaller rings and is light and delicate.  I might have to sit down and see if I could do it in a heavier gauge and bigger rings.

Finally, I have a few atomic beads.  These little guys are adorable, but a pain in the you-know-what.  I must have put the bead down a number of times before "getting it".

The beads start out with a mobius, then, somewhere, there is chain maille magic that I can't even begin to explain.  I have no idea how Kirk came up with it, much less explained it.

You can tell these little guys have been sitting around for a while.  The copper has dulled.  I really need to get them cleaned up, dunked in liver of sulphur and tumbled.

Brilliant Twisted Skulls has quite a few tutorials in the store.  If you like these, check it out.

Friday, June 17, 2016

More Chain Maille

I was proud of myself for making the following kitsune bracelets by Amy Leggett.

It's one of the only weaves that I didn't have a tutorial for.  I had to do a bit of "trial and error."

I really like the weave.  It's fluid and feels nice to wear.

I ended up doing a test model in brass, brown and teal annodized aluminum.

Next, was a bronze and stainless steel version.

 Finally, an aluminum with purple and violet annodized aluminum.

Ever since I've made them, I'be been trying to think of a way to make a sheet.  I'm not sure it would work, but it might be really cute if you joined two kitsune bracelets with a european 4 in 1 middle.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What else have I been up to?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been doing quite a bit of chain maille.  I'm going to split the projects up into a few posts, just so this one doesn't become a monster post.

There is no way I will remember these in chronological order, so we'll just get to these in no particular order.

The first thing I'll show you is this viperscale bracelet.  It's a Viperscale 2.0 from Blue Buddha.  Unfortunately, I cannot link anything for you because Blue Buddha closed recently.  You should be able to find viperscale instructions, though, if you google.

What makes this bracelet different from your typical viperscale is the smaller ring in the middle next to the bigger ring.  The rings need to have a slightly larger aspect ratio to accommodate the smaller ring.

I loved viperscale so much, I decided to do a few in niobium.  C and T designs has wonderful niobium rings.  I miscalculated the ring size and could not do the 2.0 version, but I think these are lovely anyway.

In addition to viperscale, I finally (and I mean finally -- it took me about 6 months off and on) learned moorish rose.  This weave interlocks six ring mobius units.  I looked at tutorial after tutorial until something clicked.

I've never had an arch enemy, but I think this bracelet came close.  I love how it turned out, though.  It's all copper and it has a nice weight to it.

I made the s hooks on the ends.  They're not perfect, but I don't mind.

That's it for now, but I have more on the way.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What have I been up to?

It seems I've taken a bit of a break from my blog.  I guess it's one of those things.  Life gets in the way, pictures seem like a bit of a chore instead of something fun.

It's been about a year and a year and a half since I was posting regularly.  Let's see if I can get myself back into the game, so to speak.

I've still been beading .. a bit.  I love Kate McKinnon's Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  The techniques are amazing and the pieces I've seen are wonderful.

I started a fortune teller bangle early last year, but got only so far.

I hadn't sized the bangle properly and a bit of it split off.  I ended up taking a several rows out and also removing a bit from the inside.  I haven't gotten back to this, however, because my attention wandered to a few other projects.

You see, my wonderful husband somehow procured tickets to the San Diego Comic Convention last summer.  Of course, I needed something awesome to wear.

I finished these next two bracelets about a week before we left for San Diego.

This Harley Quinn bracelet is an example of what can happen if the wings are left unchecked.

Granted, this bracelet is not an "every day" sort of thing, but I love how it turned out.  I am somewhat proud of the snap cover I came up with.

The little warped squares have snaps on the bottom and attach to both sides of the cuff.  I love how it blends in to the rest of the cuff.

I've worn this a few times and I'm surprised at how many people don't realize it's beaded.

The next cuff I made is a rick rack bracelet and not quite as wild as the Harley cuff.  I styled it with Wonder Woman in mind

It also uses snaps for a closure.  You can see the little snaps on the left of the picture below.  The other half of the snap is on the underside of the bracelet.

I really love the techniques in Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  I'd like to do a bit more with it, but, I seem to have trouble coming up with an idea.  My daughter suggested a Madeline Hatter cuff (Ever After High is a favorite of hers), so I may look into that.

Aside from last year's ornament swap, I'm pretty sure this is all the beading I've done.  Instead, I've been working on chain maille.  I have quite a few pictures to show you in my next post.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Handmade Ornament Swap

Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted.  I've been busy and have been making things, but I guess photos and posting really got away from me.

Hopefully, I'll get the energy over Christmas to break out the camera again and show you what I've been up to.

But that's not what this post is about.

I joined a handmade ornament swap hosted by Karen Williams and was partnered with Judy Jacobs.  After I looked at Judy's website, I was a bit intimidated, to say the least.  Look at all her gorgeous paintings.  Seriously, they are fabulous.  And she's a glass artist also?

Luckily, Judy is very sweet and insisted she would love anything beady I might send.

I ended up making two ornaments for Judy, but before I show you what I sent, I would like to show you the wonderful ornament Judy gifted to me.

How gorgeous is that?  Judy made the beads dangling and the rest, she said, is fused.

The colors are gorgeous and so bright and cheery.  Here's a close up of Judy's beads.

My daughter helped me open the package.  Before I could do or say anything, the ornament was on the tree, very high up, where all her favorite ornaments hang.

We'll keep it in the office after Christmas, so we can enjoy it all year round.

Judy also sent a mini painting of a seascape that will reside on my desk so I can watch the waves every day.  :)

Now, on to what I sent Judy.

I knew I wanted to make a beaded ornament, but couldn't decide on a design.  After a a bit of back and forth, I decided on this pattern by threadabead.  I liked the simplicity of the design and I loved that it was double sided.

The front:

and the back:

This was fun to make and I loved how it came together.

I also sent this chain maille ornament, the maillers choice for December from Blue Buddha Boutique. :

I really like the rubber rings in this.  (I liked it so much, I made a ton of ornaments and a pair of earrings that the kiddo immediately claimed as her own.)

Please check Judy's blog to see her entry.

If you want to see what the others made, check out Karen's blog.  She will have links to those participants with blogs and entries for those participants who don't have blogs.

Karen, thank you for hosting.  It's such a wonderful idea!

Judy, the ornament is beautiful!  Thank you so much!  It was so nice getting to know you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Brand New Year

My husband and I were talking to the kiddo last night about the "new year" and the symbolism behind it.  Many people look to the new year as a fresh start and resolve to do many things in the coming year.

I'm still thinking about how I want to approach this year and what I'd like to focus on.

I do know that I've neglected my blog and my blogging friends.  I didn't carve out the time to post to my blog or comment on other blogs as I might have liked.

I was thinking about this as I was making cookies for the kiddo this morning and I thought maybe some of you might like the recipe, even if it flies in the face of so many new year's resolutions.

I found this recipe over a decade ago on all recipes and it's still a favorite.  I warn you, though, it's not for the faint of heart.  You *must* like ...  love ...  adore chocolate and peanut butter.  You cannot shy away from sweets.  Finally, you must have the patience to wait 12 minutes for them to bake.

So, it's a chocolate peanut butter cookie chock full of peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and Reese's peanut butter cups.

Can you see those peanut butter cups?  Yummy!

Here they are ready to go into the oven.  These do not spread much (probably because there are more chips and cups than dough), so I don't worry about spacing them out too much on the cookie sheet.

And here they are freshly baked.

Peanut buttery goodness!

Have a happy new year!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (taken from this recipe by Joanna Knudsen)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter *
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 and 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag mixed peanut butter and milk chocolate chips **
Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped ***

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and peanut butter with white sugar and brown sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.

Stir together the cocoa powder, flour and baking soda.  Add to the butter mixture.  Stir in the chips and peanut butter cups.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.


* I usually use creamy, but sometimes, if I am feeling wild, I'll use chunky peanut butter

** I was so excited to see this was actually a thing.  You can buy a bag of peanut butter chips and a bag of chocolate chips and use half a bag of each.

***  The original recipe calls for 10 cups, but I usually use way more than that.  This morning, I used 20 snack size cups.  Basically, if you think you have enough, double it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Holiday Ornament Swap and Blog Hop

Wow!  I can't believe it's been four months since I've posted.  I'll give you a run down on what's been going on at a later time, though.  Today, it's all about the holiday ornament swap!

The ornament swap is organized by Sally Russick and is something I look forward to each year.

This year, I was excited to have Sally as my partner!  Sally is a master of many trades:  metal work, seed beading, photography.  Sally is also the mastermind behind the focus on life series that I participated in last year.

You can see that mastery in the ornament she sent.

It's so gorgeous!  I may or may not have squealed a bit when I opened the box.

I can imagine the hours of work that went into it.  It's too fabulous to pack away after the holidays, so I plan to keep in in my office all year long (next to Sandi's ornament from last year).

Thank you, Sally!  I am beyond grateful.

I also sent Sally a beaded ornament.  I beaded a bezel around a bead from Donna Millard.

I loved Donna's work and really wanted to do this bead justice.  My photo isn't the best.  I bet Sally takes a better one.

I also sent Sally a chain maille ornament.  It's a larger version of the Celtic Visions Star from Blue Buddha and was the December mailers choice kit.

Sally said Wyatt snapped it up.  I'm so glad he liked it!

Sally, thank you again and thank you for hosting this blog hop.

Please take some time and visit the other participants.  You will see some fabulous ornaments!

(To the other participants, I'm out of town this weekend, so I may not get hopping until this week, but I can't wait to visit everyone.)

1. Sally Russick and Tanya Goodwin (you are here)